UK experiences 'best year ever' for foreign tourism spend
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UK experiences 'best year ever' for foreign tourism spend

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Spending by overseas visitors to UK in 2012 reached a record-breaking level of £19bn - an increase of more than 4 per cent on 2011.

Figures released today by VisitBritain also show that there was an increase in the number of arrivals, with more than 31 million international tourists enjoying a holiday across Britain - the best year since 2008. It is estimated that the increases were sufficient to create around 4,000 new jobs.

The Olympic Games and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were partly credited with the increases, with the UK also experiencing strong recovery from the high spending and vital North American (up 3.7 million visits) and A12 European countries (up 2.8 million), also the strongest since 2008. A12 countries include eastern European and Baltic countries - such as Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania - as well as the islands of Malta and Cyprus.

December 2012 was a particular strong month for inbound tourism with a 12 per cent increase on visits over the previous December and a 15 per cent increase in spend.

Patricia Yates, VisitBritain's director of strategy said: "Inbound tourism has shown it can continue to deliver growth to the UK economy and Britain has managed to avoid the threatened displacement in the year of the Games.

"Our tourism strategy was clearly to use the showcasing of the Games and turn the millions who watched coverage of Britain into visitors in the months and years ahead.

"We have made an excellent start and will continue our work promoting Britain as a great place to visit to deliver further revenue and jobs in the UK through 2013."

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Spending by overseas visitors to UK in 2012 reached a record-breaking level of £19bn - an increase of more than 4 per cent on 2011.
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